Devon Seafood Grill in Oak Brook, Illinois is a restaurant that has it all together (there's another one on Chicago and Wabash for all you cliff dwellers). Immediately upon entering the atmosphere is casual and inviting, the clean lines and lighted shelves of the bar opposite the entry beckon. At 7:30 on this Saturday night the place was full, but our reservations were honored promptly.
Before we go any further, I should mention that I am not the food editor, nor do I wish to be one. The sad fact is that I get kicked out restaurants a little too frequently to be a successful food critic, but in all fairness it isn't always my fault. The point, though is that last week I wrote an article about J. Alexander's in Northbrook, which seemed to fail miserably at any attempt at customer satisfaction. The experience at Alexander's left me a little disillusioned about customer service in general, so the treatment at Devon was a breath of fresh air and something I wanted to share.
Service was attentive without having anyone hovering over my water glass. Don't you hate that? The waiter exhibited great patience as the ladies pondered this foo foo drink over that one. I went for a very, very, very, very dry Ciroc martini and the waiter was still smiling after I called him back to inquire if I had mentioned that I wanted it very dry. He didn't even roll his eyes. Drinks came pronto and everyone seemed happy with their selection. I was very, very, very happy.
Appies came next and we started off with an assortment of oysters, enough to allow everyone at the table to sample each variety on the menu, which were all from the East Coast. My favorite was the malpeques, but all were fresh, ice cold and unceremoniously slurped down before anyone even had a chance to open one of the miniature bottles of Tabasco.
Ordering dinner was equally laborious for our guy. I ordered wild Salmon with asparagus and roasted tomatoes, although the choice was roasted potatoes, not tomatoes. For this minute misunderstanding, which was completely my fault they kept my martini glass full for the rest of the evening, on the house. Including the bleu cheese stuffed olives.
Our waiter, John (not his real name) sheepishly returned to our table to inform my wife and her friend, Lily (also the birthday girl) that there was only one piece Whitefish left in the kitchen, as small problem since they both ordered it. Fearing a cat fight, he said that whoever changed their order would receive their entree for free. My wife enjoyed the Swordfish.
I can't remember dessert (bottomless Ciroc martini?), but it looked good and was gone before I had a chance to try it. I think it was chocolate. Free food and drink aside, this was a great place to relax and enjoy the company of friends. Well, let's be honest, free stuff never hurts.